Supreme Court Divorce Ruling - What are the implications?
Oct 27, 2015
Recently, Alison Sharland and Varsha Gohil won a landmark case in the UK's Supreme Court. This case could have implications for anyone who has undergone a messy divorce, or anyone facing divorce proceedings in the future.
The two women appealed to the highest legal authority in the land to have their divorce settlements overturned on the grounds that their ex-husbands had misled the courts about how much they were worth. Their victory means that their divorce claims will be sent back to the High Court for reassessment.
Whilst this decision doesn't change the law, it does set an important precedent. Some speculate that it will open the doors to many aggrieved ex-partners who believe that they were cheated out of money or assets in their divorce agreements. It will now be much easier to request that a divorce settlement be reopened if there is reason to believe that full disclosure was not made and indeed to declare any agreement void if the lack of disclosure is proven. The divorce agreement will then have to be renegotiated.
Many have been distracted by the fact that Sharland had originally been awarded £10.35m in her divorce agreement three years ago – a sizeable sum by many standards. Nevertheless, she stands to do better as her ex-husband was found to be worth much more than he led the courts to believe. It is not just big money cases where this ruling will have an impact, however; legal experts believe that it will have a more dramatic effect on cases where there is not so much money to go around, and a redistribution of assets could make a profound difference to the parties' lives.
One thing all commentators are clear about, though, is the message this decision sends to those seeking a divorce: financial honesty is the best policy. Otherwise, it seems, your lies and omissions can come back to bite you.
Return to News